Vukani Educare Centre, which caters for children with disabilities, continues to rise and shine despite the hardship and difficulties it faces daily.
The centre opened in 2007, but had battled to accommodate the 35 disabled children, some of whom are wheelchair-bound, in their single classroom, which doubled up as a storeroom.
Their worries are, however, now a thing of the past, thanks to a German donor and Newlands Rotary Club who generously helped get an additional classroom and an office built for the centre.
Founder and principal Lindelwa Madikane said for many years they had knocked on different doors, pleading for help, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. She said they had already given up.
Ms Madikane said due to a lack of space, they had been forced to use one classroom for two classes.
Ms Madikane said the children at the centre, who had severe disabilities, needed special care-and a lot of patience. She said the donation was a dream come true for them and that part of their plan was to extend their programmes to more people with disabilities.
The centre currently works with children aged between two and 18 years old. “Our teaching methods are designed to specifically meet the needs of these children.
“Some of the children that we have here take time to understand what they are being taught and respond to teachers’ instructions.
“Others are in a higher level, meaning that they can understand what is being taught and can participate in the activities done by the teachers. We are calling on anyone to lend a helping in further extending the centre. We want to better this centre,” she said.
Rotary Club of Newlands President, Chris Beech, said children who attend the centre receive specialised care, allowing their parents the freedom to search for work and the peace of mind knowing they are in safe hands.
“The centre has a reputation for being the best in the area because of the calibre of dedicated staff who receive training support from provincial health department occupational therapists,” he said. “Recently one boy who could not walk managed to make his first steps, with support from the staff at Vukani, much to the surprise and joy of all who work at the centre.”
He said the project cost R925 000 to complete, with funds sourced from a German donor, as well as the Rotary Club of Newlands.
If you can help the centre, you can contact them at 073 060 1147